Sharad Pawar says end of season rains will help winter crops

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (ANI): Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said that late end-season rains will help India's winter crops.

Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Pawar said, "It's true that because paddy area transplantation has been dropped, but the late rains are very helpful particularly for Punjab, Haryana, Orissa and Chhattisgarh."

"There would not be any pressure on food grains supply, as the stock position was good," Pawar added.

Meteorological Department has said that since June 1, monsoon rains have been 20 percent below normal and heavy showers in the past week have reduced the total seasonal deficit by three percentage points.

Met department said the country can expect heavy rains for at least another week, but the withdrawal of the monsoon, which usually begins to wind down in early September, would be delayed.

A surge in food prices unexpectedly pushed the annual change in India's wholesale price index into positive for the first time since late May, putting pressure on the central bank to bring forward an exit from its easy monetary policy.

The annualised wholesale price index rose by an unexpected 0.12 percent in the year to September 5, compared with the previous week's 0.12 percent fall and analysts' forecast of a 0.08 percent decline.

The food articles sub-index rose an annual 15.4 percent, up from the previous week's 14.8 percent rise, as a dry spell hit nearly half of India's districts, hurting summer crops and prompting the government to take steps to raise supplies. (ANI)

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